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The Lord of the Rings TCG Wiki: Blades Drawn (4U60)

Blades Drawn (4U60)

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Set: The Two Towers
Kind: Free People
Culture: Elven
Twilight: 1
Card Type: Condition
Game Text: To play, spot 3 Elves. Plays to your support area. For each wound on each minion, that minion is strength -2. Discard this condition during the regroup phase.
Lore: The sword skills of the Elven archers were unexpected.
Rarity: U

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Blades Drawn (4U60) Wiki

General Strategy

Blades Drawn is by far the most useful and popular of the Elven conditions affecting wounded minions, the other two being Killing Field and Lorien is Most Welcome. While not every minion is fierce or comes with a damage bonus, every minion has strength and if it can be exerted, it can be hindered by this card. For only 1 twilight, Blades Drawn can cut minions of 5 and 6 twilight down to size, giving it an excellent return. If the fellowship can generate enough archery, Blades Drawn will force the Shadow player to decide whether to play any minions at all (potentially opening the door for an easy double move if few or no minions survive) or wait for Blades Drawn to expire, leaving no room for new Free Peoples cards and weakening his or her Fellowship should the current Free Peoples player stay put. It isn't unique, so the effect will stack as you have more copies on the board. Still, the Free Peoples player may want to play only one copy at a time and preserve the next copy for the next turn to keep the shadow player from gaining ground. Note that the 3 Elves the Free Peoples must spot to play Blades Drawn do not have to be companions - it may be played with a fellowship containing no Elves at all, such as a Rohan mount based fellowship with Elite Riders and Third Marshal of Riddermark.

The usual method for dealing with archery - spreading wounds across minions so that most of them survive - will lead to a group of weak minions with little hope of winning skirmishes. The Shadow player will often choose to kill off some minions rather than weaken the most promising skirmishers, leading to leaner swarms and fewer powerful minions to face in beatdown decks. Shadow sides which rely on exerting minions (largely Sauron decks) become hopeless in skirmishes or must give up part of their deck's functionality. Some minions whose high vitality once protected them, such as Isengard Orcs (especially Warg-Riders) and Uruk-Hai, may now be in the awkward position of having too much vitality to kill during the archery phase and allow a Free Peoples player to easily win skirmishes and trigger effects such as Legolas, Archer of Mirkwood's healing or Strength of Arms' token addition.

Because of its low cost and high potential, Blades Drawn can be a worthwhile inclusion in any Elven deck, even one without archery. Not only Sauron decks but also Easterling, Southron, and Uruk-Hai decks have many key cards which exert minions and a well-timed Blades Drawn can throw a Shadow player off completely. It is a natural addition for decks which are using Lorien Swordsman - with just one copy, an exhausted Witch King will have the fragile strength of 2. It also synergises with several later released Elves' texts, such as Legolas, Elven Stalwart and Arwen, Queen of Elves and Men from sets 8 and 10, or Orophin, Silvan Elf and Elven Guardian from set 17. Fereveldir's wounding ability causes further debilitation with Blades Drawn and can save him in a skirmish when he's unable to kill a minion by wounding alone. Other wounding abilities such as from Bow of the Galadhrim and Night Without End can weaken minions outside of the current skirmish, allowing a Free Peoples player to mop up the last few minions or let Blades Drawn cripple minions skirmishing the Ring-Bearer.

Dunland is a natural enemy to Blades Drawn, as most of those minions cannot be exerted and often avoid wounds entirely, primarily through Hides. Blades Drawn effectively nullifies the enduring keyword, though minions will retain their base strength and will pose more of a threat than non-enduring minions. The Uruk-Hai berserkers have a fairly high base strength and gain 1 strength (2 for Berserk Slayer) for each wound on each character in the skirmish, so will not be as adversely affected by Blades Drawn.

Just as cards which wound or exert minions will debuff minions when Blades Drawn is out, cards which heal minions will strengthen them. Not Easily Destroyed and Scaling Ladder will add strength back to already strong skirmishers and can cause a careless Free Peoples player to lose companions from overwhelms once the wounds come off minions. Wolf Voices in particular can be fatal as it cannot always be predicted and adds a strength boost in addition to a healing effect for mounted warg-riders. The Enduring Nazgul from set 10 can also self-heal, and are essentially immune to Blades Drawn in most situations.

Strengths and Weaknesses

Strong Versus...

  • Fellowships with strong wounding/exerting capabilities
  • Minions with lots of vitality
  • Minions which self-exert, such many Sauron Orcs

Weak Versus...

Example Decks

  • Decklists or links to decks that use this card.

Rules and Clarifications

Extra Information

  • Add other information regarding printing, rarity, trivia, etc.


This page has been moved, the new location is Blades Drawn (4U60).
lotr04060wiki.txt · Last modified: 2017/08/11 12:18 (external edit)

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